WORKING WITH ME
Success is relative. It is what we can make of the mess we have made of things.
T. S. Eliot
The Family Reunion
If you've been thinking about a life-story project, and wondering how to begin, you might try assembling a 250-word purpose statement:
- Why do you wish to tell the story?
- To whom is it addressed?
- Why is it needed or desired?
- Who will benefit?
The purpose statement, a first step, may help you define the memoir's core mission, and it may lead to a second step—the development of an initial outline, which in turn may lead to an effective structure. With an initial outline in hand, we can then review existing materials, determine research needs, make early content decisions, and establish a writing and editing "game plan."
Improving the manuscript
I specialize in developmental editing, sometimes called substantive or content editing--but along the way I also provide line editing and copy editing. Editing needs vary from project to project, but most (if not all) draft writing requires editing input--at all three levels. I might suggest changes in content, structure, and style--and I might recommend ways to develop and incorporate various literary devices:.
Each of these elements can be independently examined and analyzed. Taken together, however, and properly integrated, they form the underpinnings of a well-told story--or set of stories. You can do as much or as little of the writing as you wish. It's up to you.